We’re excited to introduce you to the always interesting and insightful Mikki Loud. We hope you’ll enjoy our conversation with Mikki below.
Alright, Mikki thanks for taking the time to share your stories and insights with us today. The first dollar you earn is always exciting – it’s like the start of a new chapter and so we’d love to hear about the first time you sold or generated revenue from your creative work?
My first commission was an album cover I created for an underground rapper. While attending undergrad at University of Arkansas at Little Rock, I frequently visited a music studio where I got to create musically and visually. I was so excited to visit the place where creativity was loud and colorful. I was anxious to be a part of the magic that happened within. Even if I was just a listening ear, I was eager to learn. Once I began to share some of my sketches and class projects, the producer made me a promise that he would help me get experience. My shining moment came, and I was a nervous wreck! Even putting a price on my work was daunting to me. Sizz (producer) encouraged me to always charge for my work’s value, and don’t be afraid to do so. Once I crossed the pricing hurdle, the rest began to flow. I did a full photoshoot and my first Photoshop collage. The best part…I got paid all up front! That moment gave me my first taste of paid creativity, and respect for my work and vision.
Great, appreciate you sharing that with us. Before we ask you to share more of your insights, can you take a moment to introduce yourself and how you got to where you are today to our readers?
I began my creative journey early in life, using art as an outlet for my frustrations. It was something I could control and express my feelings without speaking. My skills blossomed as I got more and more creatively ambitious. Whether it was sketching, painting, hairstyles, writing poems, singing, or writing plays, I craved art. As my third eye opened, I stretched my creativity to become a tool for making others feel happy. Sometimes I used it to make people understand my feelings. As I entered college years, I chose a core of visual arts best suited for me. Still being a person who is not a loud speaker, I used my artistic ability to speak for me. Little did I know, my “voice” would become louder than I ever imagined. My art created a brand, and a signature that consumers had, and still have, an appetite for. My digital design process, attention to creative vision, and consulting services created a lane for me in the creative world.
Can you tell us about a time you’ve had to pivot?
Going through college I didn’t really get a lot of time to hone in on my skills. I began to notice how minimalistic my work was. I realized how disconnected from trending styles I was when I quit my job to try and be a freelance artist. I went to Las Vegas, with my minimalistic skills, and completely fumbled with getting work. I didn’t have any supporters to “plug” me, so I was completely lost. It was then I knew I needed to go back to my corporate America professional experience to make ends meet. I got discouraged until I met the right people. Those beautiful friends and acquaintances began to challenge me in ways I’d never been. This turned into me doing my first wall painting, my first art show, my first paint and sip instructor job, my first logo design. I have maintained my professional experience in the real estate world, but my art life has definitely become more prominent and rewarding financially.
How did you build your audience on social media?
Building my audience online has been mostly from “Day 1” supporters sharing their experiences with me, posts of me doing paint classes, and learning the power of hashtags and posting frequency. I suggest always taking photos of your creative process, but leave the viewers wondering what the end product will look like. They will begin to check your posts for progress. In the background, you are creating a presence and a craving to viewers. Now they are building their hunger to own something you have created. Consistency is key. Even if you don’t post as much, post something. I struggled with this for a while. But now, I realize your work and your journey will work hand in hand to build your audience.
- Instagram: instagram.com/mikkiloud
- Facebook: Martina Grayer